Final Crit #2

1 – What was your idea, concept, and/or frame of reference for this project?

Originally, I was going to use this project as simple means of exploring aspects of photography I had never before worked with in order to expand upon my skills. I wanted to use a new portrait lens, learn the scope of what that technology has to offer, and then print on canvas fabric. I wanted to see how a digital image translates to a material we don’t normally think to print on. The conceptual aspect of my project was built upon after my in-progress critique. I was encouraged to look into the relationship between the material I was printing on and the greenhouse which led me to display my work on the burlap outside of the site. This is because I was thinking about what the purpose of a greenhouse was: to protect these plants from external harsh environmental conditions and to maintain a controlled environment. I paralleled this idea to the job of the burlap which is seen outside the greenhouse and figured that I could show the relationship of fabrics and how they can be used to induce the same concept, but with shrubs and trees. Further, after consulting my fellow photo monitor, she was able to help me identify the first plant I showed in my in-progress critique which was called Cyperus alterniflorous R.Br. where the Cyperus genus is known to encompass grasses that are commonly used in the production of textiles.

            In terms of frames of reference, because my initial intention was to play with depth-of-field on a portrait lens, I took inspiration from some Pinterest photos which are the same as my in-progress critique.

2 – What was your motivation to make this project? List any references.

My motivation for this project was to produce images in a realm I had not previously worked with (portrait lens photography and printing on canvas). Further, the content matter I wanted to explore is somewhat related to what I have explored throughout my degree. I am in the Bachelor of Arts and Science where one of my minors is general biology. I have a wide variety of classes I can take to fulfill my minor, however, I seemed to gravitate to the environmental sciences side, taking a few botany and plant courses along the way. My interest in plants becomes more prominent when considering that I had run a garden center and spent a summer landscaping/gardening. Therefore, my motivation for this project was to take photos of content that interests me in hopes of expanding upon my skillset to areas I have no previous experience dealing with.  

3 – What aspects of your project work well to support the concept?

I think I was able to tie in the materiality of the fabric well after much thought went into getting to this stage. As mentioned, my motivation was initially that I simply wanted to work with something I hadn’t before, but in order to justify that decision, I needed to find an alternate purpose of why I was printing on fabric in order to relate it to the concept of my piece, showcasing the purpose of a greenhouse and it’s translation to the fabric.

4 – What detracts from the concept?

I suppose the fact that I took photos of flowers and different plants but burlap is only really used on shrubs and trees. However, for the purpose of demonstrating my understanding of portrait lenses and depth-of-field, I felt as though the images I had of these plants and flowers were stronger than any of my images of trees or shrubs.

5 – How does your work engage scale?

I printed a 15” x 10” image onto fabric with a 1” border around the perimeter (because you need to leave the room as bleeding occurs when printing on fabric). I was limited by the constraints of the material as the maximum width of the material was 17”. Therefore, in order to maximize the space I could print on while also attempting to save material, I decided to print a few photos at the total image size of 17” x 12” so that I could get as much detail into the piece. I think this size works well as it looks to be around/similar in size to the actual plants I was photographing.

6 – What role do colour, composition, materials, and/or scale play in this work?

The fabric plays a large role in demonstrating my concept of the piece which is relating the overall purpose of a greenhouse to the function of a fabric plant bag/burlap. It was to show that fabric is used in sites such as the one we used for this project, as a tool that benefits the plants that reside there.

7 – What are some presentation qualities of your work that you considered?

The display of my piece was something that I had given much thought to. I enjoyed the tangibility of the piece but hanging it on a wall made it seem too much like a regular print. Therefore, in order to reflect that idea of materiality that encourages you to touch or feel, similar to plants and how we test to see if it’s real by touching their leaves, I decided to place it on burlap to tie in the conceptual aspect of my piece.

8 – What areas of your project would benefit from more work?

I think it would be really interesting to take photos of every plant that is inside the greenhouse and print all of them onto fabric to display along the long shrubbery outside the greenhouse. That could work to make it more site-specific as I’m not just relating s couple of randomized plants, I am relating the entire inventory of this one specific greenhouse.

9 – What did you learn in the process of making this work? Any notable


I learned the properties of my portrait lens and saw just how small my depth of field could really be with this type of lens. Further, I got a grasp of how large I should make my f-stop if I am trying to have more area in focus which is something that took some trial and error considering I had not worked with f-stops that low. Additionally, I learned how to alter my image in photoshop to make it ready to print on fabric successfully. When printing on fabric, you lose a lot of detail and the image becomes softer. In order to counter this effect to the best of your abilities, you must crank the sharpness on photoshop to the point where it looks grainy and fake. Additionally, I learned to take a step back when I have invested myself too much into my work so that I can come back to it and think with a clear head. I had become very frustrated with this project at one point which created a large roadblock for me, but I was able to take a moment and recollect myself to finish off the conceptual side to my work.

10 – Rate your commitment to this project (1=Low 10=High). Explain

I think the amount of thought that I put into this work was significantly large despite only producing a few images on canvas. I came up with a prior idea to translate the images onto tote bags to which I met with Colin and decided there were some flaws with the concept behind it. Further, I learned new skills of printing on a new material, learning how to use a new lens as well as prepping files in photoshop in order to print onto the fabric. Overall, considering this, I would rate my commitment to this project to be a 9.